Sunday, 12 February 2012

Feeling Minnesota Review

From the DVD cover, this movie is grossly misrepresented.  It makes it sound like a lighthearted romantic comedy where Cameron Diaz and Keanu Reeves hook up under dubious yet honourable circumstances and are then pursued by Vincent D'Onofrio who is Diaz' husband.  They only hit on half of that.  Reeves and Diaz hook up and are pursued by D'Onofrio.  But that's where it ends.  This movie is anything but a lighthearted romantic comedy.  Had they gone that way or had they gone fully to the dark movie that it is, it could have been a good movie in either genre.  Instead, they can't pull the trigger on either and it ends up being a poor film.  There's some good subtle dark humour and some over the top physical bits but the consistency with either is never really there.

That isn't to say that there is no comedy in the film.  There is quite a bit; especially when Reeves and D'Onofrio are interacting (ie. fighting) with each other.  I haven't seen such comedically awkward fist fighting since  Bridget Jones' Diary and Pineapple Express.  In fact, D'Onofrio is really the only thing that really works in this movie.  Even though it felt at times like he was trying to channel John Malkovich, it worked and most of what he does is is funny yet dark and that's what they were going for.  His performance is really strong and believable throughout.

The problem is that D'Onofrio is not one of the two main actors in the movie.  While, without his role there would be no film, the hero and heroine are Reeves and Diaz.  Neither one of them does a good enough job to grab the role and make you care about the character.  But it's for different reasons.  Reeves' character is flawed.  They try to make him some kind of suave and loveable guy while also making him an out and out criminal too.  His character is too layered and, while he's an OK actor, he can't do too much depth and couldn't really pull it off.  Diaz, on the other hand, is just an out and out terrible actress.  Her character had no depth and she still couldn't pull it off.  Her line delivery is always terrible and her body language is always annoying.  While she is a fairly attractive person, those other attributes are enough to just make you want to punch her.  She really played par for the course in this one.  I was actually relieved when she got shot.

Apart from those problems, I do have to say that the film is shot very well.  The lighting, setting, costumes and set designs gave it a real bleak and hopeless feel which suits the story quite well.  But without good characters and acting, that isn't enough for a good movie.

Don't see it.

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